Lola’s Ramblings: Ten Random Things about How I Celebrate(d) Christmas

December 24, 2015 Lola's Ramblings 16

LolaRamblings

Lola’s Ramblings is a feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews where I ramble on about a book related or a non-book related topic. These are discussion type of posts where I talk about a topic and readers can weigh in on the topic in the comments. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like tours, cover reveals, memes, challenges, recaps or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are discussions of a certain topic and my point of view on them. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have an awesome christmas!

Not sure how many people are around visiting blogs during christmas, but it also felt weird not posting anything. As topic I decided to talk about some random things about how I celebrate(d) christmas, so I can include both now and past celebrations. Please tell me something about how you celebrate christmas!

Ten Random Things about How I Celebrate(d) Christmas

  • We have two christmas days. We’re lucky here in the Netherlands and some other european countries as well I think. We have two christmas days here, so christmas eve on the 24, then first christmas day on the 25th and second christmas day on the 26th. Most stores close earlier on christmas eve and are closed on the first christmas day, but in the recent years more and more stores do open on second christmas day.
  • Amandel staafSpeisbrood. Here in the Netherlands something that commonly get’s eaten around christmas is “Speisbrood”, it is a white bread with raisins and almond paste in the middle. Another christmas delicacy is the pastry which is called “Amdandel staff” basically puff pastry dough with sweet almond paste filling. It’s eaten during sinterklaas in the form of a long rod and during christmas it’s a circle, it tastes exactly the same. The picture is of the sinterklaas variety as I find that easier to eat and didn’t buy any around christmas to photograph.
  • Brunch was just as important as christmas dinner. Growing up we celebrated christmas at our house with presents and food mostly. Beside something special for dinner on all three days, we also had christmas brunch, which was almost as important and big as christmas dinner. My mom baked different foods, bought different christmas shaped breads, croissants and other christmas related products, sweets and more and we had a late and long brunch.
  • Where we celebrate and celebrated christmas. When we were kids christmas eve we often stayed home then either first or second christmas was celebrations with the whole family and the other day was only with our hosuehold, so my mom, my sister and me. Nowadays it’s often one day to my boyfriend his parents and one day to my mom and her husband.
  • Surprises and presents during christmas. Every christmas we bought presents for each other. When we celebrated with the whole family we often did “surprises”, which is the name for a type of exchanging presensts where in a big group everyone buys a presents for one other person, usually the present is hidden in a construction the giver made and there’s a poem included. Normally this tradition if for the grown-ups during sinterklaas, but we usually celebrated that during christmas. Everyone’s name get’s written on a small piece of paper thrown in a hat and then everyoen picks a piece of paper and then make sure no one has their own name. You don’t tell anyone else for who you have to buy a present. It’s a fun way to make sure everyone get’s one present and everyone only has to buy one. One year my sister ended up with two presents and my grandma with no presents, as someone made a present for the wrong person. Beside that it always went right.
    Then the day we celebrated with just my mom, my sister and I we often bought multiple presents for each other.
  • The decorations. My favourite part of christmas is probably seeing all the decorations outside. It makes everything feel so magical. When I still lived with my mom we always decorated for christmas, but now that I am older I hardly ever decorate our home, although I do enjoy seeing other people, their decorations and the decorations outside and in shopping districts. This year we did put up a small christmas tree. I’ve had this fake tree since I was a kid and most of the deocrations as well and while it’s small, it does bring some of that christmas spirit to the house.
  • Christmas tree decorations. Growing up my mom always wanted to decorate the christmas tree with silver coloured decorations. We always got a real tree. My sister and I always tried to hid a coloured christmas decoration in the tree and see how long it took till my mom found out. We both had a smaller tree, my sister had blue decorations and my christmas tree had red decorations as those were our favourite colours when we were younger. I still have most of my red christmas decorations. My mom finally ended her silver only christmas trees and got a few other colours in the mix, although it’s still mostly different shades of grey, silver and purple. My mom also bought a fake christmas tree a few years ago, the first year she assembled it, they didn’t realize it was assembled wrongly and the christmas tree looked like two piramids stacked on top of each other instead of a tree. My boyfriend, my sister and I couldn’t help laughing when we saw it and even my mom admitted it looked a bit weird. My boyfriend his parents usually have a small fake christmas tree with multiple colours decorations.
  • Christmas Cards. My mom always sent out christmas cards to almost everyone she knew and it was a yearly returned event where she send out lots of christmas cards, as a result of that we always got a lot of christmas cards as well. Depending on the year we either hang them from a clothing line in the living room or we taped the cards on the door to the living room. It was always fun to see how many differents cards we wuld get. It’s one of the traditions I strongly associate with how we celebrated christmas when I still lived with my mom. Nowadays I don’t send out any christmas cards, although we still receive a few of them each year.
  • Christmas dinner and food. Christmas dinner often involved turkey, rabbit, some sort of veggies and more. My mom often made multiple dishes and there was always enough for everyone. When I became a vegetarian she always saw it as a challenge to make something special for me too. And I remember one year where she convinced the family to go with asian food for christmas instead of the normal christmas dishes. It was very different, but also fun to eat something non traditional.
  • Advent Calendar. Each year when we were kids my grandma brought a advent calendar with chocolates for both my sister and me. The chocolate often wasn’t that good, but I really enjoyed being allowed to only open one sqaure each day and eat one piece of chocolate. It was a fun way too look forward to christmas.

Tell me something about how you celebrate(d) christmas?

16 Responses to “Lola’s Ramblings: Ten Random Things about How I Celebrate(d) Christmas”

  1. Kristen Burns

    Second Christmas?! Why didn’t I have that while growing up?! Your traditions sound nice. The Secret Santa kind of way of exchanging gifts sounds fun and a lot less stressful than everyone trying to buy a bunch of gifts for everyone in the whole family.

    Speisbrood sounds really good! I think I’d like it. It also sounds kind of fun that you had Asian food one year. And those advent calendars were always fun 🙂

    My favorite thing about celebrating Christmas has probably always been the little miniature Christmas town I set up. I haven’t gotten to do it the past couple years, but at some point while growing up I just started taking it over more and more until I became the Christmas town nazi and wouldn’t let anyone else even touch it lol. I would plan it out on paper, the different sections, trying to change it up and add things each year. It also started expanding until eventually it took over the coffee table, all the floor space on the edge of the room between TV stands and cabinets and whatnot, numerous shelves and spots on the display cabinet things, and a big extra folding table. It was pretty incredible, if I do say so myself 😛
    Kristen Burns recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This YearMy Profile

    • Lola

      The second christmas day is pretty awesome, as christmas lasts longer. Here we don’t call it secret santa, but yes that’s basically what it is and it’s less stressful than getting everyone a present.

      I always liked Speisbrood, but didn’t get to eat any this year, although my mom had bought some. The asian dinner one year was a fun twist.

      We used to set-up a christmas town in our window still in our previous house. It was great and always fun to set it up each year. Your christmas town sounds amazing and I love the fact you would plan it out on paper. I wish I could see one of your towns.
      Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #158My Profile

  2. Paula B.

    What fun, Lola! I love the gift exchange idea. Wish I’d thought of that. 🙂

    When I was a kid we celebrated both Hanukkah and Christmas, and I would get presents on all eight days of Hanukkah at home, and on Christmas I’d get more presents when we went to my aunt’s house. It’s a wonder I wasn’t drowning in stuff, but somehow I wasn’t. One of the things I really loved was the bubble lights we had on our tree. I haven’t seen anything like that for ages, but when I was a kid, that was my favorite, and I would sit and watch the bubbles flow through the chamber.

    Now we can’t do very much because our cat is a terror and she would ruin everything. This morning she knocked some electric candles off the mantle. I shudder to think what would have happened if they had been real lit candles. She’s so inquisitive and difficult that we haven’t had a tree since we got her seven years ago. So now we don’t decorate much, although I would love to be able to.

    For a long time Alan would make these huge Christmas dinners with chicken (he doesn’t care much for turkey) and a zillion other things, but these days we tend to get Indian takeout or something equally simple. Since the rest of our family is scattered all over the world, it’s just the two of us and Bagel, so we usually have a very low-key holiday.

    • Lola

      It’s similiar to secret santa’s, it’s a neat way to make sure everyone get’s a gift and everyone only has to buy one.

      Presents on al eight days, that sounds amazing! It’s always fun to receive presents. Those bubble lights sounds awesome! I don’t think I’ve ever seen those.

      It’s a shame you can’t set-up a tree because of your cat. Your cat does sounds very inquisitive indeed, it’s a good thing those candels weren’t real lit candles.

      Indian takeout sounds great for christmas dinner. It’s nice to have something simple and not have to cook on christmas.
      Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #158My Profile

    • Lola

      I always like the christmas brunch, we didn’t do a brunch this year sadly. As my mom and such were awake more early and I came out of bed with a headache and nausea, so I just ate a piece of bread nad went back to bed. We did have a nice dinner though.
      Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #158My Profile

  3. Mary Kirkland

    That sounds like a lot of fun. When I was a kid my mom and dad’s wedding anniversary was on Christmas Eve, so we celebrated that day with them. On Christmas morning we got up early opened out presents and went to my grandma’s house to open more presents and have dinner.

    Now that I’m an adult we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve and we are having dinner at my house tonight. My daughter, son in law and grandson are coming over. My dad is 84 years old and he and my step mother stay home to celebrate together. They come for Thanksgiving but not Christmas. I’m making Ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuits, stuffing, roasted asparagus, and I made a chocolate cake yesterday for dessert.

    I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.
    Mary Kirkland recently posted…Mary’s Meatloaf RecipeMy Profile

    • Lola

      Standing up early and getting to open presents sounds like aufn. And that’s neat your mom and dad married on christmas eve and celebrated their wedding anniversary eahc year on that day.

      I hope you had an awesome christmas eve dinner. That chocolate cake for dessert sounds amazing! Ham is pretty normal here around christmas too, but the rest isn’t that common here.

  4. Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

    That’s exciting you have Second Christmas! For awhile now, my family (mom, dad, sister and brother – if he’s in town) mostly celebrate on Christmas Eve. We usually go out to eat somewhere and then come back and open gifts. Christmas Day we cook food and then we tend to go out to the theater and see a movie. That’s what happened/is going to happen this year. It’s fun and I like doing some different stuff. We don’t celebrate usually with all of my extended family – aunts and uncles and the like so it’s pretty small. Nice though. I like low-key.
    Let’s Get Beyond Tolerance recently posted…Give GAY for the Holidays + Merry Christmas to You All!My Profile

    • Lola

      I always thought a second christmas day was normal, until I learned they only have one christmas day in most countries. Going out to eat sounds neat, so you don’t have the stress of having to cook for a lot of people on two days. Going to the movies on christmas sounds like a fun tradition. I also prefer low-key christmas celebrations, with my boyfriend his parent it’s just the four of us, but my mom likes the big celebrations with all the extended family.
      Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #158My Profile

    • Lola

      I didn’t got to eat any almond paste pastries around christmas this year, but I did buy a few around Sinterklaas. The surprise gifts where a fun way to make sure everyoen got a present and not have to buy one for everyone else.

      We mostly did dinner very big with the whole family, but sometimes smaller too and brunch was usually just the three of us usually. I like receiving cards, but never really got into the spirit of sending out christmas cards, I did enjoy the recipe exchange.
      Lola recently posted…Review: Chasing River by K.A. TuckerMy Profile

  5. S. J. Pajonas

    This all sounds wonderful! For us, we decorate sugar cookies on Christmas Eve, open presents on Christmas morning, and then spend Christmas day with family. I didn’t get to see my extended family this year because my youngest daughter was sick, but it was still a fine Christmas. 🙂
    S. J. Pajonas recently posted…Taking A Short Holiday And Sickness BreakMy Profile

    • Lola

      I am happy to hear you had a fine christmas. I like that traditions of decorating sugar cookies, I love cookies and it sounds fun to bake them together and decorate them. And ofcourse eat them ;).
      Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #158My Profile

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